Monday, July 11, 2005

Question about Red Book

From: Fran Salyers
Thanks for your comments on about Ancestry's Red Book. [i.e. - A book's price is often better there than through the publisher.] I want to own one reference to state and local genealogy resources, and I've bouncing between The Red Book and The Handybook for Genealogists. The mention of Handybook's illustrations and maps is about to sway me in that direction. Please advise: Does Red Book include any maps?

My family is in Kentucky -- both maternal and paternal lines -- arrived in Kentucky by the mid-1800s (some of them in the late 1700s). So far, I know that some arrived here from Tennessee and North Carolina. For now, most of my research is focused on Kentucky, but I'll need to go beyond the state line soon.

If you were asked to recommend one of these resources (which I suppose I am doing!), would you recommend Red Book or Handybook?

Thanks. Now that I know about your work and your web site, I'll be reading more of your info and ordering some of your "Little Books." They sound wonderful!

Hmmmm. The Red Book or the Handybook -- which book is my preference? Honestly, your question is impossible to answer. Each book stands in it's own right. Everton's has long been recognized for it's excellent maps including one of current counties, another unique (and often quoted) old migration trails map, etc. I consider the top four NECESSARY books for US researchers to be (in alphabetical order)

-- Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Edition by Alice Eichholz (Editor) (2004)

-- Everton's Handybook for Genealogists (12th edition due in Fall 2005)

-- Evidence! Citation & Analysis by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

-- The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs (Editor), Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Editor)

I believe every serious researcher should have access to these books. I keep them on the shelf right next to my computer for easy reference. WAIT to purchase the newest edition of Everton's Handybook. It is due out this fall.

ADDITIONAL TITLES of value to US researchers:
-- Map Guide to US Federal Census by William Thorndale, William Dollarhide

-- The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy Third Edition by Val Greenwood (free online at

-- The Center: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area by Christina K. Schaefer

-- Printed Sources by Kory L. Meyerink, editor

-- Hidden Sources by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer, editor

-- Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration

-- The Library of Congress by James C. Neagles

-- (any of the) Research Outlines by the Family History Library (free online at

-- (all of) George K. Schweitzer's books & videos (see:

-- US Military Records by James C. Neagles

-- Land & Property Research by E. Wade Hone

-- The Archives: Guide to Field Branches by Loretto Dennis Szucs, Sandra Handgroves Luebking

-- The Genealogists Address Book by Elizabeth Petty Bentley (Compiler)

Now, I've not truly answered your question -- only opened up discussion of additional possibilities.

Some help I am, eh?

Remember, I don't sell these books, I just use them, see them in use, and have access to many others for review. I would encourage friends of local libraries to see that these books are on the shelves in the genealogy department for the benefit of all researchers, newbies or not.

If you want, I could come up with the top 30-50 titles, but by then, we'd be into locality or ethnic specific choices.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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